“TILE AND DECKING” – BRIEF OVERVIEW: The decking phase of your project simply refers to the patios and walkways around your new pool. Decking can be done in natural stone coping, pavers, concrete or really any surface that you and your UNIQUE pool designer select. This phase can be done before or after waterline tile, so do not be alarmed if things get a little bit out of order. If you have concrete decking with “acrylic” overlay, then we install the tile after we pour concrete. On the other hand, the tile will go first for patios such as flagstone, travertine or paver coping. Our stone masons are experts in installing all of our natural stone coping, and this process should take anywhere from 1 to 4 days depending on the size of the project. Once the coping is installed, the landscape crew can work on the remainder of your new patios. If your project involves “cool deck,” then this gets a 4″ base of concrete first. The concrete is usually formed on day 1 and then poured the following day, schedule permitting, making it a 2 day process for rough concrete. Do not worry it is not finished.  After 14 to 21 days, we come back and apply the “acrylic lace” or “cool deck” and color it. In total work time, this is a 3 day process.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What’s the difference between “cool deck” and “lace”?

These are terms which are often misunderstood. Basically, they are the same, and the terms are used to refer to a textured surface over concrete which is “non-slip” and “cooler” than concrete. “Cool deck” gets its name from many years ago, and was applied at the same time as the concrete pour. Now, with improved product durability and longevity, it is actually called “acrylic overlay” and the pattern is called “lace”. We still refer to it as “cool deck” though, because that is how it functions and what clients are familiar with and expect. The reason it is so much cooler is the light color and the texture. When the temps reach 115 degrees, the surface is still hot but it feels cooler because your feet only touch about 50% of the surface on contact, making it appear to be much cooler.

There’s an “Orange” strip of plastic in the middle of my patio!

The orange strip in your patio is called a “deco drain”, and it’s about 2″ wide, and 4″ deep into the patio. This drain is covered with an ORANGE piece of protective tape which is removed during the final stages of cleanup. This is installed to assist in proper drainage away from the pool, and is 100% necessary to keep water from getting under the shell of the pool and foundation of the house. In the landscape and pool business, nothing is ever level. We keep a general rule of thumb to “DRAIN AWAY FROM HOUSE AND DRAIN AWAY FROM THE POOL”. When we do this, it creates a low point in the patios which can collect water. To channel this water to the landscape area it is necessary to install this deco drain. These drains come in tan, white and grey. We also wish there were cleaner ways to finish the patio, but we believe that this is a better option than having a section of rock in the middle of the patio.

What does “coping” mean?

COPING is the term for the piece of stone, concrete, or material which goes directly on the edge of the pool or wall. Think of coping as a “finish” piece to make it look good. Coping usually overhangs an inch or two, to cover up a transition joint. Coping is a term used widely in the pool industry, but can also refer to the same material going on top of a wall, seat or step. Coping, much like your kitchen counter top, can have many different edges including bullnose, square, chiseled, polished.

Why does it take 14 to 21 days to come back and do the “cool deck” pattern?

The old style of cool deck was done the same day, but over time, it had a strong likelihood of peeling off. The new style of “acrylic” goes on after the concrete is fully cured, and this can take anywhere from 14 to 28 days. After the concrete is cured, it no longer releases water, minerals, and other chemicals which may affect the acrylic overlay. We would also like to be done sooner, but it is just one of those things necessary to ensure that your pool lasts a lifetime.

Who covers up all the pipes and trenches?

For the most part, the trenches are covered up by the decking crew. But sometimes the deck crews do not have time to complete all of the backfilling of trenches in your yard. Do not be alarmed if there are still a few areas uncovered, we will get this completed very soon.

When is the cleanup of all the concrete and mess done?

The overall “big” cleanup generally starts to happen AFTER decking. Decking and patios in themselves tend to create lots of debris, scraps, and dust. In the past we found that cleaning up after shotcrete was a wasted effort due to the amount of mess still involved in finishing your project. The trash such as paper, plastic and food debris should be cleaned up daily though and if this is not occurring, please contact us immediately so that we can correct the problem.

My water feature was installed before decking, what happened?

There are certain cases with rock waterfalls where they need to be installed prior to decking, and other scenarios where decking comes first. In this case, we decided to get the water feature installed prior to decking, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.